Advances in microsystems engineering have recently made it possible to create biomimetic microfluidic cell culture devices, known as ‘Organs-on-Chips’, that contain continuously perfused microchannels lined by living human cells that recapitulate the multicellular architectures, tissue-tissue interfaces, physicochemical microenvironments and vascular perfusion of the body, which potentially offer new opportunities for disease modeling, drug development and mechanistic studies. The Benam Lab at the University of Colorado has adapted this approach to create a microfluidic human ‘Lung Small Airway-on-a-Chip’ to accurately reconstitute normal airway physiology, and mimic complex human asthmatic and COPD inflammatory processes and immunepathologies in vitro (Nature Methods 2016;13(2): 151-157). Moreover, most recently we described a new in vitro model system (Breathing-Smoking Lung Chip technology) that permits analysis of the effects of whole smoke, from both conventional tobacco and electronic cigarettes, delivered under physiologically relevant flow conditions that mimic breathing on the pathophysiology of differentiated human mucociliated bronchiolar epithelium (Cell Systems 2016; 3(5): 456-466.e4).

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic Postdoctoral Fellowship candidate to study respiratory viral infections and airway inflammation using state-of-the-art in vitro model systems and Lung Airway Chip platforms. The successful applicant is expected to be highly motivated, driven and collaborative, and have demonstrated the ability to independently complete research projects. Importantly, they need to have expertise in lung cell biology, immunology and respiratory pathology. Familiarity with microfluidic systems and chip microfabrication is a plus, but not essential. Additionally, the Postdoctoral Fellow will design and execute experiments and analyze experimental data, and communicate the findings to the team, their PI, and during Departmental or Division Lab Meetings when required. This position requires someone who is detail-oriented and interested in problem solving, has great communication (written & verbal) skills and is willing to taking the Lung-on-Chip technologies to the next level. The applicant is expected to have the skills and self-motivation to perform experiments quickly, analyze, interpret, graph and present data. This position will also provide a unique opportunity for the Fellow to write Reports of Invention and filing Patent Applications, through innovative thinking and novel technology development.

Our laboratory offers a unique interdisciplinary research ecosystem within Pulmonary Division of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, which is the largest and a highly reputable Division in the U.S.A, and most likely in the world for lung research; in conjunction with the Department of Bioengineering. Moreover, our laboratory pursues high-risk research and is translationally focused, with the aim of positively impacting human health and our society through our discoveries. Colorado has been named The Switzerland of America for its mountains and outdoor activities, and Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.A. Applicants should send their CV including bibliography, and the contact information for three references, via email to: Kambez H. Benam, D.Phil.